15 years of Fuzzy Mitten Toys
Back in the autumn of 2006, I was wondering what to do with my time. I'd finished my summer job (working in a greenhouse), and didn't have any immediate prospects. To fill my time, I started knitting soft toys. I had made fabric toys when I was a kid, and I was still learning how to knit, so small, simple projects seemed like a good way to practice. I needed some way to pay for more yarn, though! Etsy was just getting started, so I thought I would try selling some of my toys. I sold a few, but more interesting things would follow.
Within a very short time, other knitters found my toys, and asked if I would be willing to sell the instructions for them. I had no experience writing knitting patterns, and had only been knitting for about 3 years myself. But I thought I would give it a go, and see what I could do, especially since I could sell as many copies as I liked! I discovered I had a knack for creating small toys that people liked to knit, and for writing instructions that were easy to follow. Luckily, I also had a partner who loved to photograph them, so we could show off how adorable the toys were!
Within the next year, I expanded my offerings to a variety of little animals in outfits: bears, pups, cats, rabbits, squirrels, lambs, pandas, tigers, and many others! (Look on Flickr for some of my past toys). We put together pattern collections as digital and printed books we published ourselves. By the end of 2007, I decided to try running the business full-time. In the following years, I had many other designs I created for my own stores, as well as creating toys for knitting magazines, a book, a yarn company, a TV show, and even a game app.
While I no longer sell the toys themselves, and don't publish many new patterns, I still love designing knitted toys for people to make. It's hard to believe that I've been doing this for 15 years now! I think that calls for a celebration, don't you? I'd like to offer a few little things to my customers, who have done so much to support me over the years. Check out this post to learn more about the giveaway!
If you're curious where the name Fuzzy Mitten came from, this cartoon is the main reason.